University of Tokyo will utilise Fujitsu’s VR Heart Simulator Viewer
Heart disease is currently one of the leading causes of death in developed nations (number 2 in Japan, number 1 in the US), and many treatment methods and treatment devices are being researched and developed.
Fujitsu has announced that the University of Tokyo will use heart simulator viewers with stereoscopic displays compatible with virtual reality (VR) technology in an electrocardiogram lecture for third year students in the Faculty of Medicine. The simulator has been developed by both parties.
The heart viewer utilises as content the output data from a heart simulator jointly developed by Fujitsu and University of Tokyo using the K computer as well as a computer cluster.
Students will be able to see the complexity of "excitation propagation," a phenomenon whereby electric stimulation from pacemaker cells spreads throughout the heart, with a stereoscopic, 360-degree view utilising VR, allowing them to understand how electrocardiograms are created through this process.
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Based on its use in the University of Tokyo's lecture, Fujitsu will proceed with the development of the heart viewer with an aim toward product commercialisation within Fujitsu's fiscal 2017 (ending March 31, 2018) for use as a more effective educational tool while contributing to the advancement of medicine.
By providing a stereoscopic view with VR, this technology supports the efficient teaching of medical students, enabling them to really see such factors as the interrelation between the graph shown on the electrocardiogram and the propagation of electrical signals, and the difference between the behaviours of the heart both in normal times and when diseased.
The technology accurately simulates the activity of the heart from the muscle cell level. As a result, it is now possible to use these 3D models to see not only the internal and external structure of the heart, but also such things as true-to-life heart muscle activity, detailed networks of blood vessels and the flow of blood, as well as the spread of electrical propagation.
NHS opens 8 clinical trial sites to assess cancer treatment
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) is opening eight clinical trial sites to assess patients' responses to personalised cancer therapy.
The trials will analyse how patients diagnosed with advanced melanoma or non-small cell lung cancer respond to immunotherapy, to help predict their response to treatment. They will be hosted at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust facilities.
Immunotherapy helps the body's own immune system fight cancer, but while it has achieved good results for some cancer patients, it is not successful for everyone. Finding ways to predict which people will respond to the treatment is a major area of research.
OncoHost, an oncology startup, will provide advanced machine learning technology to develop personalised strategies aiming to improve the success rate of the cancer therapy. The trials will contribute to OncoHost’s ongoing PROPHETIC study, which uses the company’s host response profiling platform, PROphet®.
“Immunotherapy has achieved excellent results in certain situations for several cancers, allowing patients to achieve longer control of their cancer with maintained quality of life and longer survival,” said Dr David Farrugia, Consultant Medical Oncologist at NHS, and chief investigator of all eight NHS clinical trial sites.
“However, success with immunotherapy is not guaranteed in every patient, so this PROPHETIC study is seeking to identify changes in proteins circulating in the blood which may help doctors to choose the best treatment for each patient."
"I am excited that Gloucestershire Oncology Centre and its research department have this opportunity to contribute to this growing field of research and I am determined that our centre will make a leading national contribution in patient recruitment.”
Previous studies in the US and Israel have shown that PROphet® has high accuracy in predicting how patients with cancer will respond to various therapies.